2022 Braves Player Review: The Hitters that Were

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Filling out a roster with quality 1 through 26 is really hard to do. In the past, the Braves have done quite a good job finding under the radar veteran performers. Some names that immediately come to mind are Matt Diaz, Willie Harris, Ehire Adrianza, Charlie Culberson, Jesse Chavez, Josh Tomlin, and Adeiny Hechavarria (1st go-around). However, in the AA regime, more often than not, the fringe guys get tested, show poorly, and get released or take their demotion back to AAA. In today’s piece, we’ll look at the Braves Hitters that Were in 2022:

Word of caution: Don’t look for inspiration. You won’t find it here.

Last Year’s Jordan Luplow

Alex Dickerson: Fun fact about Dickerson. His nickname is Grandpa. If you’ve ever seen him, you’ll know why. Braves seem to sign someone to a $1MM deal every year in hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. In 2022, it was A-Dick. It was a reasonable gamble as Dickerson had proven to be a capable bat with plenty of power as a LH bench/spot starter. Unfortunately, Ronald Acuna Jr. was on the shelf so the Braves were stuck with Marcell Ozuna, Eddie Rosario, and Adam Duvall as the primary OFers. This allowed Dickerson to get reps both at DH and in RF. It was his opportunity to find regular playing time and it was disastrous.

  • First 4 games: 0-10
  • Next game: 1-3
  • Following 4 games: 0-9
  • Next game: 1-3 with 1 BB
  • Following 2 games: 0-3
  • Next game: 2-5
  • Next game: DFA

It didn’t work out. It doesn’t mean it was a bad decision. Hopefully Grandpa can find his way back to the MLB next year.

The Catchers

Manny Pina: On 11/15/21, AA signed his backup to Travis D’Arnaud, causing Braves fans to wonder what would become of William Contreras. Will he become a LFer? Will he be the primary DH? Will he get traded?

The answers: God no. Kind of. Eventually.

Piña came into spring a little banged up with a wrist ailment. He got in 5 games before needing season-ending wrist surgery. He’s gone now and interestingly enough, he’ll be the backup catcher to a former Brave farmhand. Oh, the irony.

Chadwick Tromp: Tromp came into the system as a “pitcher’s catcher” and one could immediately see why. Pitchers like throwing to catchers that are thick and Tromp is definitely that (b-ref lists him as 5’8, 220 lb and I believe it). Tromp only got into 1 big league game and really capitalized on the opportunity, going 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs. He ended the year with a 2.000 OPS.

The 2-Bagger Bonanza

What happens when your 2-time All-Star breaks his foot swinging a doggone bat and has to undergo what is essentially season-ending surgery? Well luckily, if you’re the Braves, you’ve got Orlando Arcia, who is more than capable of handling the position and it’s the sole purpose for his existence on the roster. For about a month and a 1/2, Arcia was a serviceable 2B, providing good defense and a mid-.600s OPS. However, nagging injuries continued to haunt Arcia and the Braves took desperate measures to fill the void and failed miserably.

The Goose Egg

Phil Gosselin was the replacement for the replacement. Moving Arcia into the starting lineup made it necessary to replace…well, Arcia, and Phil filled the need. And by filling, I mean he stood at 2B for a handful of games, fielded the ball when it came to him and held a bat in a rectangle. He lasted 3 weeks and was DFA’d for a borderline HOF…

Cando or Cantdo?

Robinson Cano came to Atlanta as a 39 y/o with something to prove. I mean sure, he’d been an awful player since getting suspended a 2nd time for the juice, but surely he could do better than a sub-.600 OPS, right? Wrong. 9 games, 27 PAs, .377 OPS. Robinson Cando? Nope. Robinson Cantdo.

The Tale of the Bench Brothers

I’m sure when Rylan Bannon was claimed then promoted and Ehire Adrianza was acquired, they figured, like Cano and Goose, they’d get a few chances to prove or disprove their worth. Bannon was destroying the ball at AAA (which doesn’t really seem to mean anything anymore…baseball’s gotten weird), got the call when Ozzie broke his pinky, played 3 innings defensively, and was removed for Arcia the next day.

Adrianza was acquired at the trade deadline for one of my favorite MiLB personalities (Trey Harris) and I expected him to see quite a bit of time considering both LF and 2B was a dumpster fire. Boy was I wrong. In about 10 weeks of baseball left in the season, Adrianza received only 16 plate appearances and didn’t play at all from Aug. 10-23, from August 25-Sept 13, and also from Sept 14-October 4th. If there’s a complaint to be made about Brian Snitker, it likely lies here. Simply put, he’s just not very good at giving regulars rest and utilizing his bench.

2022’s Big Boned Batter

Mike Ford: *Jonathan F, if you’re reading, I need to know what’s the record for MLB team’s played for in 1 year. Mike Ford started his 2022 with the Giants, went to the Mariners on May 1st, then to the Braves on June 4th, and his final resting place, the Angels at the end of July. Needless to say, Mike Ford was no Eric Hinske, hence the DFA. He only received 8 PAs and did nothing with any of them. He was slightly more successful on the mound, only giving up 2 runs in 1 inning, ending his season ERA at 18.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

19 thoughts on “2022 Braves Player Review: The Hitters that Were”

  1. Great writeup, thanks. I think that Cano’s undoing was his defense. Given his most recent track record it would have been optimistic to expect a .650 OPS from Cano. If I’m remembering correctly, he looked about as agile at 2nd base as Ken Caminiti did at 1st in the early 2000’s.

  2. Mike Ford played on 4 teams last year. There are 26 other players who have played on 4 teams in a season. But 2 players have played on 5 teams.

    In 2018 Oliver Drake pitched for the Brewers, protoGuardians, Angels, Blue Jays and Twins.

    In 1924, Bobo Leonard hit for the New York Lincoln Giants, the Baltimore Black Sox, the Chicago American Giants, the Indianapolis ABCs, and the Cleveland Browns.

  3. In 1977, Dave Kingman homered in all 4 divisions.

  4. From last thread:

    ububba, I didn’t list the recent PAC-12 OOC teams. Florida beat #7 Utah this year, we play them on the road next year, and I didn’t list them. I’m talking about the year-in, year-out gauntlet Bama went through to actually create their dynasty, and Georgia has a MUCH easier road. Georgia’s biggest rival is crap right now, their in-state rival has always been crap, their SEC intra-conference rival has been crap since Cam Newton, and the rest of the East is mid. AND, AND, you guys drew the worst SEC West winner this year since 2013. Week 1 “Bo Nix Learning Where His Locker Is Still” was you guys’ biggest win this year. And don’t tell me it was Tennessee; we lost to them by one score on the road. They were overrated.

    So it would depend on what you mean by “dynasty”, if you’re even going there. I’m just saying you guys are more akin to Clemson’s run so far and not Bama’s run. That’s really all I’m saying. I wouldn’t say Florida’s 2 natties in 3 years was a “dynasty” even though that was an incredible run that only Nick Lou could stop.

    I also want to see how Georgia responds when Florida is actually good year-in, year-out again. Florida is their one real test on their schedule year-in, year-out. We’ve had one good team in the last 10 years, and that year we beat you guys by 3 scores (2020).

  5. The full list

    name_common year_ID teams
    Bobo Leonard 1924 5
    Oliver Drake 2018 5
    Clarence Lewis 1933 4
    Charles Zomphier 1927 4
    Oswaldo Arcia 2016 4
    Ted Gray 1955 4
    Michael Feliz 2021 4
    Brian Hunter 2000 4
    Dave Martinez 2000 4
    Herbert Smith 1921 4
    Mike Kilkenny 1972 4
    Mickey Casey 1938 4
    Jimmy Ford 1943 4
    Paul Lehner 1951 4
    Gerves Fagan 1943 4
    Harry Jeffries 1924 4
    Bob Smith 1959 4
    Dan Miceli 2003 4
    José Bautista 2004 4
    George Strief 1884 4
    Wes Covington 1961 4
    Tom Dowse 1892 4
    John McDonald 2013 4
    Thad Christopher 1943 4
    Mike Ford 2022 4
    Frank Huelsman 1904 4
    Harry Wheeler 1884 4
    Alex Crumbley 1938 4
    Austin Adams 2019 4
    Yu Chang 2022 4
    Alex Gonzalez 2004 4
    Dave Kingman 1977 4
    Willis Hudlin 1940 4
    Bill James 1919 4

  6. #8
    Oh, and now competing in the SEC is suddenly easy? I see that Cachaça isn’t for everyone…

    You beat the teams you play, and again… UGA has beaten 32 of its last 33 opponents, including 12 ranked teams – and they’ve beaten those 12 ranked teams by an average of 20 points.

    Fact is, other than out-recruiting its rivals in their own backyards, it’s not UGA’s fault that UF has had consecutive losing seasons, or that Auburn (which made the BCS final in ’13 & the SEC title game in ‘17, btw) ran off the rails this past year. I’ll always consider those to be rivalry games no matter who’s up or down, but we summarily stomped them by a combined 54 points.

    (And What’s Really Funny Dept.: I picked UF for 5 losses this season, but I didn’t think I’d cash in so early. Look, just beat Vanderbilt next year, will ya?)

    Now… if UGA wins Monday night & you wanna tell me that we’re the worst back-to-back title team that ever won back-to-back titles in the history of college football… OK, we can have that conversation… it probably wouldn’t break my heart. We’d be the 1st in the playoff era to do it.

  7. Until the Ohio State game I think Georgia was easily the best team in college football. If they win on Monday, they will be the best team in college football and the rest of the top 5 will clearly be one notch below them. That looked like the case last year but I think they would have probably gone 5 and 5 against Alabama if they played 10 games. That takes nothing away from the 2021 team, they were really good and possibly better than this year- especially defensively.

    If Georgia wins 3 Natties in 5 years and makes the playoffs the other 2, I think you can clearly say they’re a dynasty. Right now their working towards that distinction but not there.

  8. Fact is, other than out-recruiting its rivals in their own backyards, it’s not UGA’s fault that UF has had consecutive losing seasons, or that Auburn (which made the BCS final in ’13 & the SEC title game in ‘17, btw) ran off the rails this past year. I’ll always consider those to be rivalry games no matter who’s up or down, but we summarily stomped them by a combined 54 points.

    Sorry man, I don’t think beating 6-6 Florida’s and Auburn’s is that impressive. Sorry.

    Now… if UGA wins Monday night & you wanna tell me that we’re the worst back-to-back title team that ever won back-to-back titles in the history of college football… OK, we can have that conversation… it probably wouldn’t break my heart. We’d be the 1st in the playoff era to do it.

    I would hope so. No one’s had an easier route to it.

    Whatever we want to call Georgia’s run, it’s not Bama’s. That’s all I’m saying.

  9. The energy and attention going to the last couple of roster spots is amazing. “Maybe this guy. No, wait, we can get that guy! What, we have to DFA the other guy? Well, it makes us so much better.”

  10. I think it’s a sort of Parkinson’s Law for front offices. Once all the big money is spent, there’s very little to do but furiously swap little pieces.

    The only guy really working for his money now is Scott Boras. Apparently, Steven Cohen was stung by my Dantean parody and is still a little gunshy. The power of poetry!

  11. @17-18 Well, considering how they upgraded Heredia’s spot by almost 1.2 WAR (Heredia’s -0.2 to White’s 1.0 WAR), then by all means, tinker away. I do recognize that White had 40 more PAs to accumulate WAR, but his defense is the source of his WAR anyway.

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